While fans are already concerned over Chadwick Boseman because of his dramatic weight loss, there is another pressing concern about the Black Panther star: namely, whether he will be returning to his heroic role.
This could be a serious blow to fans who fell in love with Boseman’s interpretation of the iconic African superhero. According to new sources, the actor might not be returning in the eagerly anticipated Black Panther 2 because of pay disputes over the role.
According to multiple sources, including Cheat Sheet, Boseman is currently in a contract dispute with Marvel over his payment for the role of T’Challa, the character behind Marvel’s Black Panther. While 40% of people stop doing business with a company over issues in security, it seems like Boseman has been upset with his payment as the titular Black Panther from the onset of the first movie.
Cosmic Book News explains that Boseman only received between $3-5 million while other Marvel heroes typically earn around $15 million per movie. This has been an issue for Brie Larson as well, the actress playing Captain Marvel in the movie by the same name. To some, it might make sense to offer stars a more reasonable amount of money for the first movie in a series since the production company doesn’t know how it will be accepted by audiences. But with the success of these movies only continuing to rise, it’s no wonder that the stars are demanding more compensation.
A recent piece by “We Got This Covered” mentioned that Boseman wants a big pay raise from Marvel after the success achieved by the first Black Panther movie. It’s Marvel’s biggest stand-alone film to date (earning over $1.3 billion at the box offices) and even got a nod for Best Picture at the Academy Awards in 2018. Though 74% of states require worker’s comp insurance, it’s unclear if “success” compensation is stipulated in an actor’s contract.
As a result, fans are worried that he’ll simply be replaced, much in a similar manner to that of Terrance Howard. After he demanded more money for his role as Iron Man’s right-hand man and future War Machine, Howard was replaced by Don Cheadle.
Fans already feared he would not be pursuing his Black Panther title, in part, because of his recent weight loss. After all, few superheroes are depicted as slim. This has caused some fans to posit theories that Boseman has simply stopped bulking up if he’s not playing the hero anymore.
Other fans suggest that he’s losing weight for a different role, unrelated to the Black Panther franchise. Boseman is already slated to star in an upcoming Jackie Robinson biopic, titled 42 in honor of the athlete’s jersey number. Regardless, it will be tough for young fans to have their hero replaced with another actor if Marvel chooses to go in that direction. Fans have always wanted a Black Panther movie and have been teased with possibilities since Wesley Snipes tried to make it happen all the way back in the 1990s to no avail.
Fans have also speculated the T’Challa might simply pass the Black Panther torch on to his younger sister, Shuri (played by Letitia Wright). But Shuri isn’t one of the 40% of children suffering from cavities: Shuri is depicted as a woman with almost inhuman levels of intelligence and skill. In the first movie, fans noted that Shuri was essentially given the title of Black Panther, minus the costume.
Other ideas hint that Marvel will simply focus their attention on Namor as Marvel’s leading black superhero. The half-human half-Atlantean hero boasts skills akin to that of Aquaman in the DC Universe but Marvel hasn’t released too many details regarding an upcoming film starring Namor. And that still leaves the future for Black Panther up in the air since it won’t directly solve its compensation problem. Funnily enough, Namor and the Black Panther are mostly at odds as rivals and enemies in the MCU, making this especially coincidental should Marvel focus their attention on Namor.
Luckily, Black Panther 2 isn’t scheduled to be released until 2022, giving contract disputes plenty of time to be hashed out beforehand. So far, we know that the film will be directed, once again, by Ryan Coogler and it will bring back much of the original cast, including Leticia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel Kaluuya, and Danai Gurira.